If you're looking for the perfect song for any occasion, then Nic Harcourt is probably your man. The host of the popular Morning Becomes Eclectic on Los Angeles member station KCRW has recently written a book, Music Lust: Recommended Listening For Every Mood, Moment and Reason.
Harcourt tells Linda Wertheimer about Music Lust and outlines some of the best music you've probably missed this past year.
- "El Pianista del Gueto de Varsovia," Jorge Drexler: It was a good year from Drexler, whose contribution to the Motorcycle Diaries soundtrack, "Al Otro Lado Del Rio," earned him an Oscar.
Listen to 'El Pianista del Gueto de Varsovia'
- "Love's a Game," The Magic Numbers: Two brother-sister pairs hailing from Trinidad and New York make up this band.
- "Out of the Sun," Joy Zipper: Tabitha Tindale and Vinny Cafiso, a couple from Long Island, N.Y., released their second album, American Whip, this year.
- "Stoned," Lewis Taylor The album of the same name by this U.K.-based soul artist served as his American debut.
- "Monologue," She Wants Revenge: "Our music is a modern extension of a time in the late '70s and early '80s, when music was colliding in ways it never had before," says the quartet's frontman, Justin Warfield.
- "Falling Out of Love," Aqualung: "The good news is that this crazy year has kinda paid off," writes Aqualung frontman Matt Hales on the band's Web site. Hales plays with his brother, Ben; the group had a breakthrough with the title single on the album Strange and Beautiful.
- "Rewind," Goldspot: This single from the Los Angeles-based rock band was also singled out on NPR by Alexandra Patsavas, music supervisor for The O.C. and other shows.
- "Good to Me," Inara George: California singer George fronted the bands Lode and Merrick before striking out on her own.
- "Have You Got It in You," Imogen Heap: Ned Wharton of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday also singled out Heap for her "high-gloss production and unusual vocals" in his year-end roundup. Before this solo effort, Heap was vocalist for Frou Frou, which gained a higher profile on the soundtrack to Garden State last year.
- "Pull Up the People," M.I.A.: The London-based Sri Lankan artist spikes her raps with sounds of electronica and overtones of her native country's strife.